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How to Become a Nurse in Texas


Nursing opportunities in Texas are on the rise. While Texas reported a shortage of 20,000 nurses in 2018, the state’s nursing gap is projected to rise to 36,000 by 2025, and 60,000 by 2032, according to October 2022 data from state healthcare website State of Reform.


Students interested in learning how to become an RN in Texas and help address the state’s nursing shortage should start with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to succeed. Online BSN programs can prepare graduates to pursue RN licensure and career opportunities throughout the Lonestar state.

Texas Registered Nurse Job Description

Texas RNs perform the same types of duties as nurses who work in other parts of the country. In addition to helping coordinate patient care, they educate patients about how to care for themselves at home after discharge, provide emotional support to patients and their families, and administer IV fluids and medications.


Although the exact duties of RNs can vary widely depending on the organization they work for, other common duties include the following:


  • Conducting basic physical exams
  • Taking patients’ blood pressure and temperature
  • Maintaining medical records
  • Implementing care plans


Texas nurses work in a variety of healthcare environments, such as group medical practices, hospitals, hospice centers, rehabilitation centers, and schools. Professionals working in offices that keep standard business hours, such as doctor’s offices and educational facilities, often work 9-5, Monday through Friday. RNs working in facilities that provide 24-hour care, such as hospitals, may need to work night, weekend, and holiday shifts.

Steps to Become a Registered Nurse in Texas

The steps to become a registered nurse in Texas are largely similar to the requirements to become an RN in other states. How long it takes to become a nurse will largely depend on whether a student is enrolled in full-time or part-time coursework.


For example, aspiring nurses must begin by completing an education in the field, such as an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Nurses who have completed an associate degree and are interested in pursuing management roles are likely to find earning an RN to BSN degree to be highly valuable. Such a degree can help them gain the leadership and clinical skills to move their careers forward.


Maryville University’s online RN to BSN curriculum includes classes such as Transition to Professional Nursing, Nursing Informatics, and Leadership in Contemporary Healthcare. Students develop the in-demand knowledge and expertise to take on extra responsibility and pursue leadership roles.


Other steps to become a registered nurse in Texas include the following:


  • Pass the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. In addition to completing an education, aspiring nurses must also pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. The exam can be taken throughout the year at testing centers throughout the U.S.
  • Apply for licensure in Texas. Upon passing the NCLEX exam, professionals interested in working as RNs in Texas must complete an online application with the Texas Board of Nursing, pay a $150 application fee, and pass a criminal background check. The Board of Nursing has a target of 15 days to review, approve, or reject applications.


Because Texas participates in the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), nurses licensed in another state can apply for licensure by endorsement. The eNLC licensure model allows RNs to have a single multistate license that allows them to practice in their home states and other eNLC states in person, telephonically, and electronically.


  • Gain work experience. RN to BSN graduates interested in pursuing managerial roles must often gain several years of work experience before they’ll be considered for advanced positions.

How Much Does a Nurse Make? Nurse Salary in Texas

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as of May 2021, the median annual wage for registered nurses was $77,600. During the same reporting period, the BLS reports the annual median wage for RNs working in Texas was $79,120.


How much a nurse makes in Texas can vary widely based on several factors, such as experience level, rural or metropolitan location, an education level (such as an online master’s in nursing), and type of employer, among others.

Employment Outlook for Nurses in Texas

The BLS projects employment of registered nurses nationwide to grow by 6% between 2021 and 2031, which is about as fast as what’s projected for all other occupations.


The U.S. Department of Labor, however, projects employment of RNs in Texas to grow by 17% between 2020 and 2030. Employment growth within Texas is expected to be driven by several factors, such as the state’s aging population, the baby boomer nurse retirement wave, and the need to replace RNs who transition to other careers.

Earn an Online RN to BSN and Pursue Your Dream of Becoming a Nurse in Texas

The nationwide nursing shortage isn’t expected to ease anytime soon. Texas reported nearly 1,800 vocational nursing job openings in October 2022 alone, according to area news provider Valley Central.


Students interested in helping address the Texas nursing shortage would do well to consider a program such as the online RN to BSN from Maryville University. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for a wide range of nursing positions in doctors’ offices, schools, hospitals, community clinics, and long-term care facilities throughout the state.


Are you ready to take the next brave step toward advancing your nursing career? Find out how Maryville University’s RN to BSN online program can help you kickstart your professional journey.


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